I have wanted to go to Nobu since the moment I moved to New York. It's a culinary institution - one that I knew I'd get to one day, but never quite knew when. When I would tell fellow New Yorkers or even tourists that I had never been, they often couldn't believe it. But, in a town with endless dining options, it became all to easy to end up at restaurants just a touch easier to get into and just a touch more affordable. And I was never too concerned that Nobu had yet to be checked off my master list as I knew my big night there would happen one of these days.
I have felt the very same way about Las Vegas - shocking people that I had never been, all the while knowing there would be plenty of reasons to finally get there sooner or later. And so this past weekend turned into a weekend of firsts for me. There was the perfect excuse that finally took me to Vegas - and isn't a first time in Vegas the perfect excuse for a first trip to Nobu? I wasn't even worried about the build up of either spot as the great wait had almost lowered my expectations. These are two places that I knew weren't going anywhere or changing too drastically, but I am so glad that day finally arrived. A first time Vegas-Nobu duo guarantees a memorable outing.
Located in the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Nobu is certainly in the heart of the Vegas scene, despite its situation off of the Strip. This is a night out on the town experience both in setting and dining, as to be expected in Vegas. There are a few variations on the menu from the original Nobu, but we decided to go with their signature dishes that I had long awaited - sampling from nearly all areas of the menu. From the cold dish section of the menu, I highly recommend the yellowtail sashimi with jalapeno. We rolled up each piece of raw fish with a slice of crunchy jalapeno and a touch of cilantro, creating an excellent blend of textures and flavors. From the hot dish section, we went with the rock shrimp tempura topped with a creamy spicy sauce and the black cod miso. The rock shrimp were nearly addictive as I popped one after another in my mouth. However, it was the black cod dish that truly blew me away. Without hesitation, I fell for this acclaimed dish. In Vegas, they cut the rich flavors of the marinade as they serve the cod in lettuce cups topped with phyllo shavings. I have never felt so taken by flavor and texture combinations as I did during the entire meal. And to sample from nearly all sections of the dinner menu, we ordered a more traditional sushi dish, the spicy scallop roll. Even the most basic of dishes turned out to be far superior at Nobu as we found ourselves getting a second round of this roll.
With such perfection in each course, we found it impossible to pass up dessert. We ordered the hazelnut semi-freddo with caramelized bananas and peanut butter ice cream topped with caramel sauce, and the night continued to soar. At Nobu, it is truly about the entire experience. The waiters are eager to guide you through the night whether it is in recommending a dish or in spacing out the meal so that you are never rushed, yet never waiting. With such care and quality in the air, a first trip to Nobu is quite an occasion. And, last weekend was indeed the perfect occasion. If you are looking for a reason to make your first trip to Nobu, perhaps to celebrate a birthday or a promotion or even the night before a proposal, this is the place for you. Once you make your first trip, you will soon realize that the only real excuse you need to go is treating yourself right - and that is something we all should do more often!
4455 Paradise Road
Las Vegas, NV 89169-6574
FOOD RATING (Out of 5):